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Possibly by Girolamo da Carpi, Marco Bracci with Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici

Key facts
Full title Marco Bracci with Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici
Artist Possibly by Girolamo da Carpi
Artist dates 1501 - 1556
Date made about 1533
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 138.4 × 111.8 cm
Acquisition credit Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number NG20
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Marco Bracci with Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici
Possibly by Girolamo da Carpi

This painting looks as though it has been composed from two separate portraits. The figure in the red and white dress of a cardinal points to the signature on the parchment in front of him, ‘Hyppol[itus] me[dicis] Vice cancel[arius]’, which identifies him as Cardinal Ippolito de‘ Medici, vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church. The man in black holds his cap respectfully in one hand and a portable inkwell (with pen case attached) in the other. This rests on the same piece of parchment, near another signature which reads ’M de Bracijs‘, for Marco Bracci.

The painting was probably designed to record Bracci’s importance and to show how, as chancery official, he attended Ippolito de’ Medici in person. It is likely that Bracci commissioned the picture given his prominence and that the Cardinal is not painted from life, but copied from a portrait by Titian of 1532–3 (now in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence).

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